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Mar-19-2009 20:17TweetFollow @OregonNews
Teen Who Died During Rescue Awarded Gold Lifesaving Medal PosthumouslySalem-News.com
The Gold Lifesaving Medal was established by Congress in 1874 and is one of the oldest military medals.
(SEATTLE ) - A Gold Lifesaving Medal was posthumously awarded to a local hero named Ross Barfuss at Aloha High School in Aloha Oregon, Thursday.
Ross died at the age of 16 while attempting to rescue a 12-year old boy who was caught in heavy surf near Cutler City, Oregon on March 8th 2008.
The medal was presented to Ross Barfuss' family by Rear Admiral John Currier, Commander of the 13th Coast Guard District.
As we reported at the time, the 12-year old boy had been swept to sea when Ross Barfuss put his own life in danger by attempting a rescue him.
Depoe Bay Fire and Rescue recovered the 12-year old boy and transported him to the Lincoln City Hospital where he was declared dead. Ross Barfuss went missing shortly after his rescue attempt.
Coast Guard crews from Station Depoe Bay and Air Station North Bend searched for Ross Barfuss without any success.
He will always be recognized for his unselfish and heroic actions despite imminent personal danger.
The Gold Lifesaving Medal was established by Congress in 1874 and is one of the oldest military medals. Since then, approximately 700 medals have been awarded.
In contrast, the Medal of Honor, established approximately 10 years earlier, has been awarded 3,448 times.
The Gold Lifesaving Medal is awarded by the Commandant of the Coast Guard to any person who rescues, or endeavors to rescue, any other person from drowning, shipwreck, or other peril of the water. as Russ Barfuss did that day.
To merit the award of the Gold Lifesaving Medal, the rescue must be made at the risk to one's own life and show extreme heroic daring.
Ross Barfuss did that, and at the time people who knew him were not surprised that he put his life at risk to help another person.
The Coast Guard is the ultimate award authority for the Lifesaving Medal and issues the decorations to members of all military branches as well as civilians.
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